The Winter's Tale

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Time, the Chorus.Enter Time, the Choruschorus (n.)
character in a play who speaks the prologue and comments on the course of events
WT IV.i.1.1
Time. TIME 
I that please some, try all: both ioy and terrorI that please some, try all; both joy and terrortry (v.)
put to the test, test the goodness [of]
WT IV.i.1
Of good, and bad: that makes, and vnfolds error,Of good and bad; that makes and unfolds error,unfold (v.)

old form: vnfolds
display, reveal, show
WT IV.i.2
Now take vpon me (in the name of Time)Now take upon me, in the name of Time, WT IV.i.3
To vse my wings: Impute it not a crimeTo use my wings. Impute it not a crime WT IV.i.4
To me, or my swift passage, that I slideTo me or my swift passage that I slide WT IV.i.5
Ore sixteene yeeres, and leaue the growth vntrideO'er sixteen years, and leave the growth untrieduntried (adj.)

old form: vntride
unexamined, unexplored, not ascertained
WT IV.i.6
Of that wide gap, since it is in my powreOf that wide gap, since it is in my power WT IV.i.7
To orethrow Law, and in one selfe-borne howreTo o'erthrow law, and in one self-born hourself-born (adj.)

old form: selfe-borne
selfsame, identical
WT IV.i.8
To plant, and ore-whelme Custome. Let me passeTo plant and o'erwhelm custom. Let me pass WT IV.i.9
The same I am, ere ancient'st Order was,The same I am ere ancient'st order wasorder (n.)
injunction, command, dictate
WT IV.i.10
Or what is now receiu'd. I witnesse toOr what is now received. I witness toreceived (adj.)

old form: receiu'd
fashionable, accepted as a norm, generally adopted
WT IV.i.11
The times that brought them in, so shall I doThe times that brought them in; so shall I do WT IV.i.12
To th' freshest things now reigning, and make staleTo th' freshest things now reigning, and make stalestale (adj.)
worn-out, hackneyed, faded
WT IV.i.13
The glistering of this present, as my TaleThe glistering of this present, as my talepresent (n.)
present time, immediate moment, matter in hand
WT IV.i.14
glistering (n.)
brilliance, sparkle, shining nature
Now seemes to it: your patience this allowing,Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing, WT IV.i.15
I turne my glasse, and giue my Scene such growingI turn my glass, and give my scene such growingscene (n.)
play, drama, performance
WT IV.i.16
glass (n.)

old form: glasse
[sand of the] hourglass
As you had slept betweene: Leontes leauingAs you had slept between. Leontes leaving –  WT IV.i.17
Th' effects of his fond iealousies, so greeuingTh' effects of his fond jealousies so grievingfond (adj.)
foolish, stupid, mad
WT IV.i.18
That he shuts vp himselfe. Imagine meThat he shuts up himself – imagine me, WT IV.i.19
(Gentle Spectators) that I now may beGentle spectators, that I now may begentle (adj.)
courteous, friendly, kind
WT IV.i.20
In faire Bohemia, and remember well,In fair Bohemia; and remember well, WT IV.i.21
I mentioned a sonne o'th' Kings, which FlorizellI mentioned a son o'th' King's, which Florizel WT IV.i.22
I now name to you: and with speed so paceI now name to you; and with speed so pacepace (v.)
move on, proceed, pass on
WT IV.i.23
To speake of Perdita, now growne in graceTo speak of Perdita, now grown in grace WT IV.i.24
Equall with wond'ring. What of her insuesEqual with wond'ring. What of her ensuesensue (v.)

old form: insues
befall, happen, become
WT IV.i.25
I list not prophesie: but let Times newesI list not prophesy; but let Time's newslist (v.)
care, choose, desire
WT IV.i.26
Be knowne when 'tis brought forth. A shepherds daughterBe known when 'tis brought forth. A shepherd's daughter, WT IV.i.27
And what to her adheres, which followes after,And what to her adheres, which follows after,adhere (v.)
belong, be relevant, relate
WT IV.i.28
Is th' argument of Time: of this allow,Is th' argument of Time. Of this allow,argument (n.)
story, subject, plot
WT IV.i.29
If euer you haue spent time worse, ere now:If ever you have spent time worse ere now; WT IV.i.30
If neuer, yet that Time himselfe doth say,If never, yet that Time himself doth say WT IV.i.31
He wishes earnestly, you neuer may. He wishes earnestly you never may. WT IV.i.32
Exit.Exit WT IV.i.32
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